It’s your turn to host Christmas and you’ve already started biting your nails! Being the host for this special holiday is a major undertaking and, like all who take on this task, you’re no doubt worried about living up to everyone else’s expectations, making the meal perfect, and creating an atmosphere of joy and love that your guests will long remember.
That’s what makes hosting Christmas such a daunting task, especially for those who are bogged down with other pre-Christmas responsibilities including jobs, children, and other similar commitments. But you can erase some of the holiday jitters and worries by employing a few time-saving ideas that will help preparation…and the event…run more smoothly.
1. Make lists and keep them organized
There are many tasks to consider when you’re the Christmas Day host, like cooking and decorating. Start making lists early and include on those lists the best places to purchase the items you need. This way, you can make your rounds from store to store, nabbing the items you’ll need from each and there won’t be any need to go back again and again. One of the biggest time wasters is back-tracking; that is, having to return to the same store after having already been there. Another tip? Shop on Mondays or Tuesdays when stores are less crowded.
2. Bake ahead
There are many baked items – pies, cakes, cookies – that can be baked in advance and frozen or otherwise stored so that – days later – they still taste as fresh as the day you made them. Research recipes and find the ones that indicate they can be made ahead of time and include those among your Christmas goodies, even if they aren’t the traditional items to which you’re accustomed. You might just start a new tradition.
Remember, not everything has to be made from scratch for this to be the perfect Christmas meal. These days, many stores offer wonderful prepared foods you can include on your menu (be sure to order in advance) or you can opt for things like frozen pies, which are often wonderful. Try out these items beforehand so you can test them for quality.
Unless you’re single, chances are there are other people in your household that can assist with tasks that need to be completed before your guests arrive. These can start days before the actual holiday. Be sure the kids clean their room. Delegate someone to spruce up the outside of your home, and take time to decorate together since several pairs of hands are more efficient than one. Also, if you know some of your guests would be willing to contribute, ask them to bring an appetizer or side dish, which will certainly save you some prep time.
5. Keep your Expectations Reasonable
Your ultimate dream might be to host an elaborate Christmas party/dinner that looks like it comes straight from the pages of Ladies Home Journal or Bon Apetit. But unless you have hours and hours to dedicate to that goal, you may simply be biting off more than you can choose. Save time by keeping it simple yet elegant. Your guests would rather spend time with you than have you busy in the kitchen all day.
Evelyn Wood is writer at A Gift Personalized. A Gift Personalized offers thousands of unique and personalized gifts for occasions throughout the year. At A Gift Personalized you will find a unique gift that creates a lasting memory. Follow A Gift Personalized on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.